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FAO and WFP special report of 26th May 2017 explains the reasons for the famine and food insecurity in South Sudan

The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the World Food Program (WFP) have gone through the basic problems of food production and general markets for it in South Sudan. Both FAO and WFP are explaining the food insecurity and reasons why. The conflict is the important factor, but there are many other reasons as well. But when people are fleeing their small-farms from rebels and the army. In South Sudan it is also the lacking rain-fall and the insecurity have been classified as famine. But to give you a sense from the report, these quotes, which explain a dire situation. This should be taken seriously, as the reports from these United Nations Organizations are the ones following the farmers on the ground and have organized supplies of specialized seeds. Take a look!

Hyperinflation:

Hyperinflation and limited import capacity due to insecurity and shortage of foreign currency have severely impacted market functioning and the availability of food commodities. Cereal prices increased up to ten times in 2016 following the sharp devaluation of the local currency and the increasing transport costs. The number of traders and the level of their food stocks have declined sharply during the second semester of 2016, with strong reduction in food availability and variety” (FAO & WFP, P: 7, 2017).

Food Insecurity:

Food insecurity has reached new records during 2016 (67 percent of the population at harvest time, with over 14 percent severely food insecure), twice the pre-conflict levels and a marked worsening from the same time last year, when food insecurity stood at 49 percent (12 percent severely food insecure). Only one-quarter (26 percent) of the households were found to have acceptable food consumption. The coming lean period of mid-2017 will likely see food insecurity levels rise further” (FAO & WFP, P: 7, 2017).

Cereal Production:

As in previous assessments, post-harvest losses and seed use for sowing in 2017 are assumed to account for 20 percent of total production, leaving a net amount of about 826 000 tonnes available for local consumption. This result is about 10 percent below the output obtained in 2015 and slightly below the last five-year average production estimates. The decline in 2016 is essentially due to displacements of farmers and disruption of farming activities following the increased insecurity and violence since July” (FAO & WFP, P: 23, 2017).

With a projected population of about 12 million in mid-2017, the overall cereal deficit in the January-December 2017 marketing year is estimated at about 500 000 tonnes, over 30 percent above the deficit estimated for 2016” (FAO & WFP, P: 7, 2017).

The Conflict of 2017:

Conflict in 2017 – The major factor influencing the general food security situation during 2017 remains the violent conflict that started in late December 2013. Not only this has not been resolved, the intensity of the conflict increased in mid-2016 (July) and is continuing into 2017. While conflict affected mostly the Greater Upper Nile Region (states of Upper Nile, Unity and Jonglei) during the initial stage of the conflict. However, this has spread out across the country and in particular spread into the major producing areas of the country, such as Western and Central Equatoria and neighbouring areas of Eastern Equatoria. Western Bahr el Ghazal has also been affected by fighting. These situations have geographically wider repercussions: disruption of farming leads to drops in national crop production, while its impacts on markets and trade routes lead to problems in the supply of staple foods to the more remote areas of the country” (FAO & WFP, P: 36, 2017).

In January 2017, 32.3 percent of the population of South Sudan (about 3.8 million people) was classified in the IPC Phases 3 (Crisis), 4 (Emergency) and 5 (Catastrophe). In the lean period of mid-2017, this proportion is likely to rise to 46.7 percent (5.5 million people). The most serious situations are in Unity State (where the population in some counties is facing famine or risk of famine) and Northern Bahr el Ghazal – over 50 percent of the population is in IPC Phases 3 to 5. The situation is expected to worsen during the lean period of 2017 (up to July)” (FAO & WFP, P: 9, 2017).

This is all worrying and the conflict edges the crisis with natural effect. From the problems with production of cereals, to hyper-inflation together with the areas where the Republic are classified as famine. All of this is combination of downward spiral no nation want to be hold-in. The Republic of South Sudan and it’s citizens are in turmoil as the farmers cannot plow their dirt and raise their seeds. All major cultivated areas got affected by the crisis and conflict, this ha by all means been reasons for the food insecurity. If people don’t see it and isn’t worried that the production area for food has been the battleground between government and rebels. So the farmers there would be in crossfire. So if these areas and states doesn’t see peace, than the production will not rise to the needed levels. That should be key importance and be needed policy by the government to make sure they are producing enough food for their population. Peace.

Reference:

FAO & WFP – ‘S P E C I A L R E P O R T – FAO/WFP CROP AND FOOD SECURITY ASSESSMENT MISSION TO SOUTH SUDAN’ (26.05.2017)

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